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Guus Hiddink takes responsibility for Turkey's 3-0 defeat against Croatia

Guus Hiddink takes responsibility for Turkey's 3-0 defeat against Croatia

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The Dutchman says he is to blame for the devastating loss and pledges to play the youngsters in the return leg on Tuesday

Turkey coach Guus Hiddink has taken full responsibility for his side's humiliating 3-0 home defeat to Croatia in the first leg of their Euro 2012 play-off.

Hiddink and his team were booed off by a half-empty Turk Telekom Arena as Croatia strolled to victory, and the Dutchman accepts that he was at fault for the crushing defeat.

"I am responsible for the results. The players have to execute things properly, but I take full responsibility," Hiddink told NTV Spor.

"I think second place in qualification behind Germany was a realistic expectation, but were contronted with a team with guys in big leagues who are very strong and very fast.

"It's not for nothing that these players play in the Premier League, in the Bundesliga - they have experience in tough competitions."

Turkey dominated possession in the first half, but soon fell behind to two breakaway goals from the visitors, with the first coming in only the second minute, and Hiddink voiced his belief that this was key to the result.

"If you come out in the first minute and badly organised and outplayed very easily, then it's already a difficult game. We gave them a favour of two counter attacks, which was the killer."

Looking ahead to Tuesday's return leg, Hiddink called upon his troops to restore some pride.

"I think it's very important that the players play for their honour, for themselves, for their country, because let's face facts, it's difficult, almost impossible to qualify.

"Some will get opportunities to play themselves into the team because some young, new player will knock on the door to play."

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